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28 Feb 2008 : Column 1826W—continued

Immigrants: Information Services

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects the first information packs for newcomers to the UK to be published by local authorities; and what funding her Department is providing for production of such packs. [187403]

Mr. Dhanda: Some local authorities have already published migrant information packs and the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) used the best examples from these packs to provide best practice examples for the migrant information pack template which was published on the IDeA website on 4 February. This new resource will save local authorities money by providing a generic information framework that can be supplemented with local information. Communities and Local Government has no plans to provide additional funding for this work.

Landfill Tax: Hertfordshire

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of increases in landfill tax on the funding of public services in (a) St. Albans and (b) Hertfordshire. [188884]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The costs of landfill tax, including the increase in the landfill tax escalator, were taken into account when agreeing the local government settlement.

Local Government Finance

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the value of (a) council tax receipts and (b) central Government grant was for local authorities in each county in the east of England region in each of the last 10 years. [188883]

John Healey: Details of the levels of council tax requirement and central Government funding to local authorities in each county in the east of England region in each of the last 10 years are shown in the following tables.

Council tax requirement
£ million
1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Bedfordshire

129.9

140.0

153.3

164.7

176.3

197.0

219.6

239.6

253.3

267.9

Cambridgeshire

131.3

152.3

172.1

188.9

204.8

232.2

258.7

284.1

301.5

319.6

Essex

358.1

414.8

446.8

487.6

528.9

582.1

679.9

691.2

722.3

761.4

Hertfordshire

249.5

280.5

307.5

333.6

357.3

394.0

464.6

496.1

523.6

555.0

Norfolk

159.8

184.7

206.1

222.4

240.4

268.8

312.6

339.1

353.2

373.3

Suffolk

143.2

157.3

171.2

185.6

201.1

228.1

273.1

291.2

302.9

319.8

Total

1,171.7

1,329.6

1,456.9

1,582.7

1,708.8

1,902.2

2,208.5

2,341.3

2,456.8

2,596.9


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1827W

Local authority council tax requirement is the council tax available to finance revenue expenditure, not council tax collected.


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1828W
Central Government grants
£ million
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Bedfordshire

377.1

399.4

417.7

454.1

490.3

507.4

578.3

615.8

673.0

728.8

Cambridgeshire

406.8

440.0

464.7

502.9

534.4

564.3

634.8

670.2

753.2

803.7

Essex

954.1

1,032.4

1,094.7

1,188.3

1,282.7

1,366.1

1,511.1

1,571.6

1,673.8

1,724.1

Hertfordshire

617.7

649.8

678.0

748.5

810.6

824.5

909.6

977.8

1,016.6

1,068.5

Norfolk

473.9

487.0

518.1

560.8

605.2

640.6

713.4

756.5

809.7

866.8

Suffolk

394.0

410.8

433.6

467.4

503.0

516.7

589.0

630.1

667.6

693.7

Total

3,223.8

3,419.4

3,606.8

3,922.0

4,226.2

4,419.5

4,936.1

5,222.0

5,593.8

5,885.6


Central Government funding is defined here as the sum of formula grant (revenue support grant, redistributed non-domestic rates and police grant) and specific grants inside aggregate external finance (AEF), i.e. revenue grants paid for council's core services. In past years, where applicable the standard spending assessment reduction grant and central support protection grants have also been included.

Figures exclude grants outside AEF (i.e. where funding is not for authorities' core services, but is passed to a third party, for example, rent allowances and rebates), capital grants, funding for the local authorities' housing management responsibilities and those grant programmes (such as European funding) where authorities are simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.

These figures are sourced from Communities and Local Government revenue outturn (RO) returns.

Comparisons across years may not be valid owing to changing local authority responsibilities.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times her Department and its predecessors paid money to what was later found to be the incorrect local governmental body in each year since 1997; and what the total value of such incorrect payments is. [189133]

John Healey: Our systems do not separately identify adjustments to payments which arose because money was originally paid to an incorrect local government body. The regularity of payments made by the Department and its predecessors are subject to audit arrangements and these have not identified any systemic weaknesses or recurring problems in relation to correct payees. We would seek recovery of any incorrect payments, in line with “Managing Public Money”—the Treasury guidance (replacing “Government Accounting”) which sets out principles and standards for Government Departments on managing public resources—and would look to address the problem quickly if errors were brought to light.

Local Government: Consent Regimes

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 31 January 2008, Official Report, column 586W, on local government: consent regimes, what the role of the Government Office for the Regions is in exercising the statutory functions in relation to (a) the Green Belt Act 1938, (b) redundant churches and (c) revocation orders. [189245]

Mr. Dhanda: The Government Office network considers referrals under the Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 and Revocation Orders on behalf on the Secretary of State. Government Offices also consider referrals made where the proposed demolition of a listed church or an unlisted church in a conservation area is contested by a qualifying body.

Non-Domestic Rates

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 31 January 2008, Official Report, columns 586-7W, on non-domestic rates, (1) for what reason transitional relief will not apply to supplementary business rates; and for what reason the decision was previously taken by her Department not to apply relief to business improvement districts following the rates revaluation; [189243]

(2) whether any impact assessment or research has quantified the marginal increase in taxation on an individual business which would be otherwise eligible for transitional relief on the main multiplier as a consequence of transitional relief not being applied to supplementary business rates. [189244]

John Healey: Transitional relief is designed specifically to cushion the impact on ratepayers' bills of significant increases and decreases in rateable value following the five-yearly revaluation of non-domestic properties. BID levies and business rate supplements are entirely separate from the revaluation of business rates and are therefore outside its scope.

Non-Domestic Rates: Valuation

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Valuation Office Agency has established the proposed property attributes that will form the basis of the regression analysis in its automated valuation process for the forthcoming non-domestic rating revaluation. [189532]


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1829W

John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 1154W.


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